Park Research Overview

Oligodendrocytes (OLs) differentiate to myelinate central nervous system (CNS). CNS myelination by OLs is important not only for saltatory conduction of action potentials but also for trophic support of nerve axons. An improved understanding of how the differentiation of OLs is regulated for CNS myelination should provide a firm basis on which to develop more effective therapeutics for demyelinating diseases.

Our current research efforts are focused on elucidating the transcriptional regulatory network controlling the differentiation of OLs. Over the past decade, application of genome-wide techniques has greatly facilitated the identification of new transcription factors that are important for CNS myelination. However, significant gaps in our knowledge remain regarding how they function at the molecular level. Also, there remain more transcription factors to be identified for the full elucidation of the transcriptional regulatory network. Thus, we are pursuing two different research directions at the moment.

The first direction is to elucidate the functional mechanism of Myrf, a key transcription factor for CNS myelination. Conditional knock-out mice in which Myrf is knocked out in the OL lineage cells completely fail to develop CNS myelin and exhibit severe neurological symptoms, eventually prematurely dying. Recently, we and the Emery laboratory have independently made the surprising discovery that Myrf is generated as an integral membrane protein that is auto-cleaved by its ICA domain into two fragments. This discovery invokes a number of intriguing questions about how Myrf drives the differentiation of OLs for CNS myelination.

The second direction is to identify new transcription factors for CNS myelination. By taking advantage of our computational expertise, we have predicted a number of new transcription factors for OL differentiation. We are currently characterizing them using primary OL cultures. Promising hits will be further analyzed by generating knock-out mice.

Faculty and Staff

Dr. Yungki Park

Associate Professor of Biochemistry

Dr. Yungki Park is an Associate Professor at the Institute for Myelin and Glia Exploration and in the Department of Biochemistry, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo.

Chuandong Fan

Research Scientist, Park Lab

  • March 2022 - present: Research Scientist focusing on the transcription factors regulation in Oligodendroctes development with TurboID, Mass spectrometry, co-immunoprecipitation, inducible expression Oli-neu cell lines generated with CRISPR/Cas9 system and transposon system at Institute for Myelin and Glia.
  • January 2016 - March 2022: Research Technician III focusing on protein post-translational modification research at Institute for Myelin and Glia Exploration, Park Laboratory, University at Buffalo, NY, USA
  • 2009 - 2014: He became a postdoctoral researcher at Roswell Park Cancer Institute from Nov 2009, until Nov 2014.
  • 2003: PhD in Cell Biology, at Life Sciences School, Shandong University, Shandong, China.
  • 1992 - 2003: Shandong non-metallic geological engineering exploration academy (, China National Materials Group Corporation (
  • 1992: Bachelor's degree in Engineering, Exploratory Geophysics, at Changchun Geology College, Jilin, China

Hongjoo An

Ph. D. Student, Park Lab

Hongjoo An photo.
  • 2019 - Present: Ph. D. Student, Park Lab, Institute for Myelin and Glia Exploration, University of Buffalo, New York, USA
  • 2017 - 2019: Research Technician, Park Lab, Institute for Myelin and Glia Exploration, University of Buffalo, New York, USA
  • 2017: Department Cell Systems and Anatomy, Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas, USA          
  • 2014: Division of Cardiology, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  • 2012:  Department of Molecular Bioscience, Institute of Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA        
  • 2011: Division of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, USA            
  • 2009:  Aging and Apoptosis Research Center (AARC), Seoul, Korea
  • 2008:  Master of Medical Science, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Mentor: Dr. SangChul Park), Seoul National University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea                                
  • 2006 Bachelor of Science, Department of Bio-Technology (Advisor: Dr. BaekLin Seoung), Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea  
Steve Bui.

Steven Bui

Research Assistant, Park Lab

  • 2023 - Present: Research Assistant, Park Laboratory
  • 2020 - Present: Bachelor of Sciences, Department of Biochemistry, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY.